Romney to Hispanics: 'I care for the 100%'
20 September 2012, 11:08
Miami - Sounding a note of inclusion and unity that
belied tension coursing through the campaign, White House hopeful Mitt
Romney told Hispanic voters on Wednesday he would be president for
"100%" of Americans.
The Republican nominee, who trails President
Barack Obama two to one among Latinos in the United States, also
pledged that, if elected, he would create a permanent solution to
immigration but would not "round up" undocumented workers for mass
Romney made the economic argument that his policies
in support of small businesses, education, training and trade would
serve Hispanic Americans better than Obama.
But it was his inclusive tone that highlighted key elements of his remarks.
care about the 100%," he told viewers of Spanish-language television
network Univision. "People in America are going to have a better future
if they elect me the next president."
Romney has struggled to
stay on message after a video secretly filmed at a Florida fundraiser
was published this week showing the Republican candidate disparaging 47% of Americans as government-dependent "victims" who backed the Democratic president.
questions translated from Spanish, Romney said he was concerned about
the increasing divisiveness in America, "and politics has driven us
apart in some respects".
But he said that as president, he would use "every ounce of my energy to bring this country together".
discussed the country's "broken" immigration system, and while he
refused to say whether he supported the controversial Arizona law that
raises concerns about racial profiling, he said it was his goal to
establish federal rules that would tighten laws on illegal immigration.
But he insisted: "We're not going to round up people around the country and deport them."
this year, Romney suggested that many of the nation's 11 million
illegal immigrants could "self-deport" if they could not find suitable
work due to tighter restrictions, a line that was heavily mocked by
Democrats as well as rivals in the Republican primaries.
comprise the largest minority in the country, and with Romney trailing
slightly according to several polls, peeling Latino voters away from
Obama is crucial, particularly in battlegrounds like Florida.
10% Hispanics unemployed
taping his Univision remarks, Romney attended his first public campaign
event since Friday, a raucous rally at fairgrounds where he stood
before a large blue "Juntos con Romney" banner.
"The president cares about the people of America, I care about the people of America," Romney said.
"But he doesn't know what it takes to help the people of America and I do. I'll get them working again."
unemployment rate for Hispanics has hovered above 10% for the duration
of Obama's presidency, while the overall jobless rate now stands at
Obama's campaign repudiated Romney's plans, saying the
Republican was merely aiming for an "extreme makeover" to lure Hispanic
"He doesn't share the priorities or values of the
Hispanic community, and there's too much at stake to let him take us
backward," deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said in a memo.
"extreme position on immigration" includes the "unrealistic"
self-deportation policy and a vow to veto the bipartisan Dream Act,
which provides children of illegal immigrants an opportunity to stay in
the country legally, Cutter said.